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On This Day In History...Major Weather Events in the PNW or West

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#601
SilverFallsAndrew

Posted 19 January 2018 - 11:06 AM

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That ~Jan. 20th window used to be great for us historically, but it has been almost completely dormant since 1962. We're long overdue for something great to happen between about the 18th-22nd. 

 

Speaking of Jan. 1962, what an amazingly amplified pattern. A record breaking ridge punched into Alaska, delivering an all-time record barometric pressure to Anchorage on the 18th (31.10"). On the backside, a ridiculous upper-level cold trough dug SW off California, delivering 534 heights offshore of Tijuana (in excess of -5 sd's). Snow fell in the San Francisco Bay area and Roseburg fell to -1 on the 22nd, an all-time record low. 

 

January 1962 was incredibly dry. Only 1.11" of precip at SLE the entire month.


Snowfall

2018-19: 63.5"

2017-18: 30.3"

2016-17: 49.2"

2015-16: 11.75"

2014-15: 3.5"
2013-14: 11.75"
2012-13: 16.75"
2011-12: 98.5"

 

It's always sunny at Winters Hill! 

 


#602
BLI snowman

Posted 19 January 2018 - 12:26 PM

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That ~Jan. 20th window used to be great for us historically, but it has been almost completely dormant since 1962. We're long overdue for something great to happen between about the 18th-22nd. 

 

Speaking of Jan. 1962, what an amazingly amplified pattern. A record breaking ridge punched into Alaska, delivering an all-time record barometric pressure to Anchorage on the 18th (31.10"). On the backside, a ridiculous upper-level cold trough dug SW off California, delivering 534 heights offshore of Tijuana (in excess of -5 sd's). Snow fell in the San Francisco Bay area and Roseburg fell to -1 on the 22nd, an all-time record low. 

 

Yeah, 1962 was epic in northern CA and southern OR. Roseburg had 7.5" out of the arctic front on the 19th, probably one of their snowier arctic fronts on record there.

 

And then the front plunged south and produced some ridiculous CAA into north-central CA with a widespread snowfall along the coast.

 

Sacramento had a full-fledged arctic front on 1/21/1962 with a daytime high of 32

 

https://www.wundergr...ilyHistory.html


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#603
wx_statman

Posted 19 January 2018 - 01:07 PM

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Yeah, 1962 was epic in northern CA and southern OR. Roseburg had 7.5" out of the arctic front on the 19th, probably one of their snowier arctic fronts on record there.

 

And then the front plunged south and produced some ridiculous CAA into north-central CA with a widespread snowfall along the coast.

 

Sacramento had a full-fledged arctic front on 1/21/1962 with a daytime high of 32

 

https://www.wundergr...ilyHistory.html

 

Wow, no kidding. The obs on the following morning are pretty eye-popping too. Temp 25, dp of 6, NNW wind at 23 mph. 


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#604
wx_statman

Posted 19 January 2018 - 08:20 PM

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The 18th-19th is another very active time historically for snowstorms around here. Just wouldn't ever know it from looking at recent decades.

 

The 2012 storm is the lone exception of course. 6-12" fell from Seattle to Olympia with 12-18" falling around Chehalis/Centralia and in the gorge. A major ice event also occurred, with up to 3/4" ice accumulation in parts of the South Sound.

 

A forgotten storm on January 18-19, 1960 buried the region from Salem to Centralia with 6-12", at the tail end of a very solid cold period without a ton of upper level support.

 

A solid snow event for the Portland and Seattle regions on the 19th in 1957 as a major arctic airmass began to strongly seep in.

 

In 1950, after the epic Friday the 13th blizzard and subsequent cold snap, a major pattern shift began on the 18th as the southern jet roared in and brought the warmest air of that month. After a quick burst of snow and sleet on the 18th, a switch to rain and freezing rain occurred.

 

Over NW OR and SW WA, an atmospheric river would stall overhead while the low level offshore flow maintained itself, resulting in the most significant ice storm in PNW history. PDX would measure 1.98" of freezing rain accumulation on the 19th alone, with another 3/4" between the 18th and 20th. Massive amounts of damage occurred and many areas around Portland were without power for up to 10 days following this storm.

 

Heavy snowfalls up and down the I-5 corridor in 1935 amidst one of the more intense low level arctic blasts of the 20th century. That pattern probably deserves its own passage.

 

Another forgotten heavy snowstorm dropped 6-10" around the Portland area on the 18th-19th in 1933.

 

A blizzard and sleetstorm hit the entire region south of Olympia on the 18th and 19th in 1930, the 2nd significant storm in a week. Most of the region between Albany and Centralia had over a foot on the ground by the 19th, with subzero cold following.

 

A major arctic front crossed the region on the 19th in 1927. A rain to snow event occurred around the Portland area with 4-7" falling at the onset of a big time upper level blast. No measurable snow fell south of Corvallis or north of Toledo (shades of 1/10/2017).

 

That mid to late January timeframe from 1927 to 1937 was just unreal around Portland.  In 1937 a backdoor arctic front hit on the 19th, in 1929 there was a modified arctic front on the 19th with a widespread light snowfall associated with it, and more modified arctic airmasses and sizable snow events occurred in 1928 and 1932 during this week. In other words, out of 11 years there only three (1931, 1934, 1936) which lacked significant cold/snow in this January 15-20 window. Over a 70% clip ain't bad for the heart of winter...

 

Pretty incredible push of Arctic air into western WA. Made all the more remarkable by 1) the short-lived nature and 2) the mildness that prevailed during that winter outside of basically 3 days in January. Punctuated by numerous monthly record highs at the end of January, including readings in the low 70's in the Puget Sound. 

 

14/2 in Monroe (followed by 72 on 1/31)

16/5 in Quilcene

17/5 in Coupeville

19/3 in Everett (followed by 6 days of 60+ in the last 10 days of January, including 72 on 1/31)

16/9 in Forks

19/9 in Aberdeen


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#605
wx_statman

Posted 19 January 2018 - 08:27 PM

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January 1962 was incredibly dry. Only 1.11" of precip at SLE the entire month.

 

That was a whacked out month. Two separate 31"+ high pressure systems parked themselves in western N. America. The monster high around the 10th, which peaked around 31.40" in Montana and delivered all-time record cold to places like NM and TX, and the 31.10" high in AK around the 20th which pushed that Arctic outbreak down over us. 

 

Followed by Jan. 1963, which featured offshore amplification basically the entire month. More January's like that please! 


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#606
ShawniganLake

Posted 19 January 2018 - 11:51 PM

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That would be the event of the 21st Century right there...

SnowWiz, how did the Puget Sound area do January 15-18, 1954? Seems like it was a massive onshore flow snow fest here...

It was a great month overall further north. 31.8F for a monthly mean. 31.5” of snow between the 21st and 24th. 47.5” for the entire month.
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#607
wx_statman

Posted 20 January 2018 - 08:35 AM

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It was a great month overall further north. 31.8F for a monthly mean. 31.5” of snow between the 21st and 24th. 47.5” for the entire month.

 

Jan. 1954 was amazing on the Olympic Peninsula as well. The 46.6" in Forks actually broke the single-month record of 45.9" from Jan 1950. The depth reached 28" all the way out in Clallam Bay. We had the major push of low-level cold air around the 18th-19th, followed by the massive onshore flow snowfall one week later in WA state. Cushman Dam got 36" on the 25th with a depth of 58". This is below 1,000 feet just up from the Hood Canal. Pretty amazing 10 day stretch!


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#608
Phil

Posted 20 January 2018 - 10:08 AM

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I just want to say thank you to Demitri, Justin, Jim, and all others who are contributing to this thread. I’m learning a ton of fascinating information.
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#609
Jesse

Posted 20 January 2018 - 10:24 AM

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Agreed this is a fantastic thread.
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#610
Front Ranger

Posted 20 January 2018 - 10:49 AM

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The January 1930 western cold spell was felt in full force here. Boulder saw their coldest temp on record, hitting -33 on 1/17. In Denver, low temps below 0 were seen for 8 consecutive days, the second longest streak on record.


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It's just the internet. Don't take it personal.


#611
snow_wizard

Posted 20 January 2018 - 11:46 AM

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I just want to say thank you to Demitri, Justin, Jim, and all others who are contributing to this thread. I’m learning a ton of fascinating information.

 

Thanks!

 

Even though this climate can be painful at times it does have some fascinating aspects and anomalies for sure.


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Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2018-19 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 12.4"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 12

Total Hail = 0.3"

Coldest Low = 13

Lows 32 or below = 63

Highs 32 or below = 1

Lows 20 or below = 6

Highs 40 or below = 15

 

 


#612
wx_statman

Posted 20 January 2018 - 12:26 PM

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Spectacular temperature gradient across western N. America in 1971. 

 

A record-breaking Alaska cold wave was underway. Prospect Creek would hit -80 on the 23rd, the United States record low. Allakaket hit -69 on the 17th, kicking off a 14 day strech of minimums @ -57 or lower. Allakaket would record a -66/-75 day on the 24th, on par with the coldest days ever observed at any populated place in Alaska. Coldfoot Camp hit -73 on the 18th, followed by -74 on both the 22nd and 23rd. Fairbanks was -50/-60 on the 18th.

 

Meanwhile, a record-breaking January heat wave affected California. Downtown Los Angeles hit 95 on the 18th, a record for the month. Three straight days reached 90+ from the 17th-19th, the only multi-day streak on record for January. Indio hit 97 on the 19th, one of the highest January readings in United States history, and only four days before the -80 in Alaska. 


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#613
BLI snowman

Posted 20 January 2018 - 04:57 PM

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I just want to say thank you to Demitri, Justin, Jim, and all others who are contributing to this thread. I’m learning a ton of fascinating information.

 

Agreed this is a fantastic thread.

 

 

Thanks guys.



#614
Scott

Posted 20 January 2018 - 05:51 PM

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Spectacular temperature gradient across western N. America in 1971. 

 

A record-breaking Alaska cold wave was underway. Prospect Creek would hit -80 on the 23rd, the United States record low. Allakaket hit -69 on the 17th, kicking off a 14 day strech of minimums @ -57 or lower. Allakaket would record a -66/-75 day on the 24th, on par with the coldest days ever observed at any populated place in Alaska. Coldfoot Camp hit -73 on the 18th, followed by -74 on both the 22nd and 23rd. Fairbanks was -50/-60 on the 18th.

 

Meanwhile, a record-breaking January heat wave affected California. Downtown Los Angeles hit 95 on the 18th, a record for the month. Three straight days reached 90+ from the 17th-19th, the only multi-day streak on record for January. Indio hit 97 on the 19th, one of the highest January readings in United States history, and only four days before the -80 in Alaska. 

 

1971 was an impressive month for records, even though many are lesser known.  Earlier in January 1971, many very impressive all time record lows were set in the Southern Rockies region and northern Arizona.

 

Here are the highs and lows for Albuquerque during coldest part of the cold snap.

 

1/5/1971:   8/-15

1/6/1971:   6/-12

1/7/1971:   10/-17

 

No other cold snap comes close.  Records go back to 1891.

 

Phantom Ranch in the bottom of the Grand Canyon even recorded a -9 on 1/5/1971, but this seems nearly impossible since the next lowest January reading is +14.  Records go back to 1935.   Only a very few temperatures have been below +20.


At home:

 

Coldest temperature thus far in 2018:   -26 on 2/21

 

Warmest temperature thus far in 2018:  99 on 7/8 (All time record high)

 

Precip thus far in 2018:   11.01 inches

 

Snowfall thus far in 2018:   38.7 inches

 

Last frost of early summer:  7/1

 

First frost of late summer:  8/29

 

Last snow of late spring:  5/1 

 

First snow of early fall:   10/6


#615
wx_statman

Posted 20 January 2018 - 06:40 PM

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1971 was an impressive month for records, even though many are lesser known.  Earlier in January 1971, many very impressive all time record lows were set in the Southern Rockies region and northern Arizona.

 

Here are the highs and lows for Albuquerque during coldest part of the cold snap.

 

1/5/1971:   8/-15

1/6/1971:   6/-12

1/7/1971:   10/-17

 

No other cold snap comes close.  Records go back to 1891.

 

Phantom Ranch in the bottom of the Grand Canyon even recorded a -9 on 1/5/1971, but this seems nearly impossible since the next lowest January reading is +14.  Records go back to 1935.   Only a very few temperatures have been below +20.

 

Yeah, that airmass in early January 1971 was as top-tier as they come for the SW. State record lows in AZ (-40 at Hawley Lake) and also for January in NM (-47 at Eagle Nest). Then a week later, we had the huge snows in the PNW, as discussed earlier in this thread. I believe it was also the snowiest month on record for Vancouver Int'l up in BC. 



#616
Timmy_Supercell

Posted 20 January 2018 - 07:01 PM

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I was hesitant to bring up another rather recent event on this thread but why not... Significant either way.

 

Rare long lived squall line thunderstorm that originated well offshore on Jan 19th 2016, lasting well inland and surviving the Cascades, still with a ground snowpack. Morning temps were just above freezing at KLMT, slowly going above 40 shortly before the frontal convection arrived. Not only did this seem highly out of season, the weather seemed mighty cold for anything of this sort.

 

Forecasts and AFD's had no mention of inland convection, especially not this far out into the forecast area. Just seemed like a typical pre-frontal mid winter kind of day for us. Little did I expect, KLMT was about to experience a Severe T'storm. At around 12:30pm the airport had an official wind gust of 67 mph. I observed (at my house) small hail between 1/4" - 1/2" when this came through my area. Roughly half dozen rumbles, 2 close booms of thunder. For a few minutes the sky looked dark enough at frontal passage that it had me thinking it was the month of May and not January. But this passed through about as quickly as it came. Unlike most warm season t'storms this was over fairly quickly, just in a matter of minutes.

 

KMAX had poor documentation of this squall. My best assumption is that it was a very low topped t'storm line compared to others.

 

I can't really provide any examples of westerly severe squalls in the winter (PNW) aside from Jan 15 1996, even on the west sides... At least not by radar.

 

In a span of around the last 30-40 years in Klamath Falls, the months of Dec/Jan/Feb have each only recorded 1 t'storm event. If the previous January thunderstorm was in the 1980's, it must have been quite the luck of the draw for this one to turn into a severe event.


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Weather Data for Klamath Falls, OR

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Snowfall (with % of seasonal average)

 

2010-2011 - 58.20" (161%)
2011-2012 - 49.00" (136%)
2012-2013 - 16.70" (46%)
2013-2014 - 9.05" (25%)
2014-2015 - 2.90" (8%)
2015-2016 - 54.45" (151%)
2016-2017 - 63.00" (175%)
2017-2018 - 18.10" (50%)
 
2018-2019 - 52.00" (145%)
 
Nov '18 - 00.20" (5%)
Dec '18 - 05.80" (58%)
Jan '19 - 09.50(80%)
Feb '19 - 27.50" (306%)
Mar '19 - 09.00" (360%)
Apr '19 - T"
 
2019 Thunderstorms: 1
04/02 - Vicinity
04/19 - TSTM
 
Top 5 Daily Snows: 12.40" (01/03/2017), 8.20" (11/23/2010), 7.50" (12/13/2015), 6.60" (02/07/2017), 6.20" (03/10/2019)
Honorable Mention: 6.00" (03/20/2012), 6.00" (02/28/2012), 5.70" (12/14/2016), 5.50" (01/18/2012)
Max Depths: 21.00" (01/07/2017), 18.00" (12/24/2015), 11.00" (11/23/2010), 9.00" (02/28/2012), 8.00" (01/01/2011)
 
T'storm Days: 2 (2019), 16 (2018), 11 (2017), 12 (2016), 20 (2015), 21 (2014), 16 (2013), 2 (2012), 12 (2011) / 1980-2015 Avg = 12 T'storm Days
Severe T'storms: 4 (08/08/2017), (07/24/2017), (01/19/2016), (08/05/2012) 
"Almost" Severe - (08/10/2017), (05/04/2016)
Vicinity Severe T'storms (close enough to hear, with official severe reports)
(06/26/2017), (08/05/2016), (07/09/2015), (07/05/2015), (06/09/2015), (08/05/2014), (08/04/2014), (08/22/2013), (08/12/2013), (09/12/2011), (09/04/2011)

 


#617
snow_wizard

Posted 20 January 2018 - 09:20 PM

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I was hesitant to bring up another rather recent event on this thread but why not... Significant either way.

 

Rare long lived squall line thunderstorm that originated well offshore on Jan 19th 2016, lasting well inland and surviving the Cascades, still with a ground snowpack. Morning temps were just above freezing at KLMT, slowly going above 40 shortly before the frontal convection arrived. Not only did this seem highly out of season, the weather seemed mighty cold for anything of this sort.

 

Forecasts and AFD's had no mention of inland convection, especially not this far out into the forecast area. Just seemed like a typical pre-frontal mid winter kind of day for us. Little did I expect, KLMT was about to experience a Severe T'storm. At around 12:30pm the airport had an official wind gust of 67 mph. I observed (at my house) small hail between 1/4" - 1/2" when this came through my area. Roughly half dozen rumbles, 2 close booms of thunder. For a few minutes the sky looked dark enough at frontal passage that it had me thinking it was the month of May and not January. But this passed through about as quickly as it came. Unlike most warm season t'storms this was over fairly quickly, just in a matter of minutes.

 

KMAX had poor documentation of this squall. My best assumption is that it was a very low topped t'storm line compared to others.

 

I can't really provide any examples of westerly severe squalls in the winter (PNW) aside from Jan 15 1996, even on the west sides... At least not by radar.

 

In a span of around the last 30-40 years in Klamath Falls, the months of Dec/Jan/Feb have each only recorded 1 t'storm event. If the previous January thunderstorm was in the 1980's, it must have been quite the luck of the draw for this one to turn into a severe event.

 

This certainly fits the "requirements" for the thread.


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Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2018-19 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 12.4"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 12

Total Hail = 0.3"

Coldest Low = 13

Lows 32 or below = 63

Highs 32 or below = 1

Lows 20 or below = 6

Highs 40 or below = 15

 

 


#618
snow_wizard

Posted 20 January 2018 - 09:22 PM

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Yeah, that airmass in early January 1971 was as top-tier as they come for the SW. State record lows in AZ (-40 at Hawley Lake) and also for January in NM (-47 at Eagle Nest). Then a week later, we had the huge snows in the PNW, as discussed earlier in this thread. I believe it was also the snowiest month on record for Vancouver Int'l up in BC. 

 

Later on we had quite an impressive late Feb / early Mar event here also.  Quite a bit of snow and legit cold in this area.  Dec 1970 through early 1973 was a great period for cold in the West.


Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2018-19 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 12.4"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 12

Total Hail = 0.3"

Coldest Low = 13

Lows 32 or below = 63

Highs 32 or below = 1

Lows 20 or below = 6

Highs 40 or below = 15

 

 


#619
SilverFallsAndrew

Posted 20 January 2018 - 09:55 PM

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Later on we had quite an impressive late Feb / early Mar event here also.  Quite a bit of snow and legit cold in this area.  Dec 1970 through early 1973 was a great period for cold in the West.

 

Salem's all-time March low of 10 was achieved on March 1, 1971. 


Snowfall

2018-19: 63.5"

2017-18: 30.3"

2016-17: 49.2"

2015-16: 11.75"

2014-15: 3.5"
2013-14: 11.75"
2012-13: 16.75"
2011-12: 98.5"

 

It's always sunny at Winters Hill! 

 


#620
wx_statman

Posted 20 January 2018 - 10:30 PM

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Salem's all-time March low of 10 was achieved on March 1, 1971. 

 

12. 

 

Killed PDX either way...we only managed 22 that morning. 



#621
wx_statman

Posted 20 January 2018 - 10:33 PM

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Dallas did hit 10 on 3-1-1971. Salem and Corvallis both hit 12. Gov't Camp was 1 degree above zero. Silly cold for March. 



#622
wx_statman

Posted 20 January 2018 - 10:37 PM

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I'm going to copy/past some posts I made years ago on Western. Relevant to this time period!

 

(1/3) - January 1847

 

What I do know of January 1847 paints an epic picture, along the same lines of 1854, 1862, or 1868. This was reported as a harsh winter with much suffering both in Oregon City and surrounding Willamette Valley settlements, and in Whitman Mission and surrounding areas in the Columbia Basin. Diary accounts at Whitman Mission painted an especially bleak picture, I actually visited the historic site a few years ago and read the copies of diaries on display there, which talked in part about the hard winter of 1846-47. Back on this side of the mountains, the Columbia and Willamette Rivers were reported to have frozen over for two weeks. I've also read diary accounts from two white settlers who spent that winter with the Spokane Indians around present day Spokane, I think one of them was a missionary and the other a doctor. They wrote of the immense suffering of that winter as well - it was the most severe winter that the "oldest Indian elders" could remember. Snow "lay 4 to 5 feet on the level and covered fences whole." They reported temps "probably around -35" on the coldest mornings of January 18th and 19th (ironically this cold wave appears to have peaked on the same dates as 1854, 1862, and 1875!). The Spokane Indians lost so many horses during the winter that they made a spring journey south to trade for more horses with the Nez Perce, according to the white diary authors.

There are also reports from present day San Francisco - at that time home to Mexican presidios as well as US military personnel involved in the Mexican American War - of very cold weather and frozen ponds, enough to allow ice skating. So this speaks of a similar Arctic blast to 1854 or 1888, or more recently 1972 or 1990 down there. What's interesting is that there was another big late cold wave in the 2nd week of March, around March 10th - snow and ice pellets were reported in San Francisco with a high "around 40." Also a US Naval hospital ship anchored in Monterey Bay reported snow from that event on the ship decks, as well as in town in Monterey itself, as noted by a naval surgeon on board who kept a diary of the weather. This is in the 2nd week of March! Interestingly this cold wave was also recorded at Fort Snelling, MN, present day Minneapolis, which observed a "ten day cold snap" and a low of -12F on March 11th.          


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#623
wx_statman

Posted 20 January 2018 - 10:39 PM

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(2/3) - January 1854

 

January 1854 was one of the best Arctic outbreaks since pioneer settlement. I've talked about it before on this forum and thrown around some stats about that month. This was one of the few events in history where the temp was supposedly below zero in downtown Portland. This was also known as the "Great California Freeze" until January 1913 came about and took the crown, and overall was a famous California winter that shocked the new settlers who had no idea how cold it could get there. The previous mega cold wave down there had occurred in January 1847 (also an exceptionally severe cold wave here), just before the gold rush and when the territory was still officially part of Mexico, and during the Mexican American war to boot. So there weren't really any settlers there yet to have a collective memory of that event. January 1854 also completely devastated the young citrus industry there which was just getting off the ground. Supposedly credible observers reported 15 to 17 degree temperatures in Sacramento, and San Francisco had its coldest day ever at 35/25 - they've never seen a colder day since, not in the official era where the all-time records are 35/27 since the 1870's. This was one of only two occurrences - along with January 1888 - that ice floes were observed floating down the Sacramento River and exiting into San Francisco Bay.

 

BTW wanted to add - the snow depth in Portland was reported as 14" per the Oregonian. It also prompted a humorous editorial in the January 28, 1854 edition:

The Weather - It is a matter of great regret that we cannot say anything flattering of the weather in this part of Oregon the present winter. The weather has become exceedingly capricious and independent, of late; so much so that no further dependence can be placed upon it. We would advise all hereafter to look out for regular New Hampshire winters in Oregon. If the past is any criterion for the future, nothing else may be expected.


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#624
wx_statman

Posted 20 January 2018 - 10:44 PM

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(3/3) - Jan & Feb 1883

 

In January and February 1883, two major Arctic outbreaks affected the PNW within two weeks of each other, separated by a lengthy stretch of mild temps. This was a very unique setup it appears - I can't think of any other occurence where we saw an intense Arctic outbreak like that, followed by mild weather for a week, only to get slammed by an even more intense Arctic outbreak a little over 10 days later.

Here's how Eola looked from January 14 - February 11, 1883:

1/14: 38/33
1/15: 39/32
1/16: 36/34
1/17: 26/16
1/18: 27/12
1/19: 17/5
1/20: 29/17
1/21: 45/30
1/22: 42/29
1/23: 42/32
1/24: 44/39
1/25: 46/42
1/26: 47/41
1/27: 48/44
1/28: 49/46
1/29: 46/40
1/30: 51/49
1/31: 44/34
2/01: 30/22 
2/02: 24/15
2/03: 22/7
2/04: 23/7
2/05: 17/3
2/06: 28/10
2/07: 30/6
2/08: 33/18
2/09: 29/13
2/10: 38/29
2/11: 41/30

Downtown Portland fell to 8 degrees in the January event, and then got even colder with a 14/7 day on February 5th. Note that this is later than any high in the 10's seen in modern records.

What's perhaps more impressive is the wide reach of intense cold in both events - with many areas across the PNW, Rocky Mountains, and central/northern Plains receiving two of their top-5 or top-10 cold waves on record within those two weeks!

In the January event Spokane fell to -28, their 2nd coldest reading ever behind -30 in January 1888. Likewise Boise fell to -27, their 2nd coldest reading behind -28 in January 1888. The coldest readings at both locations since 1888 are only -25. Yuma, AZ fell to 22, an all-time record low, and San Diego fell to 32 for one of their few freezes on record. Winnemucca, NV recorded a high of -1 on January 19th - their only subzero maximum on record (January 1888, December 1972, and December 1990 all had maximums of 1 above zero to share 2nd place). Further east Colorado Springs fell to -32, an all-time record low. Fargo fell to -42, which is colder than any reading in modern records but not as cold as some other 1880's cold waves there. As far east as Des Moines temps fell to -26, which is one of their coldest readings on record and equivalent to what they saw in February 1996. Des Moines then fell to -23 in the February cold wave two weeks later.

In the February event, Spokane fell to -22 on the 4th - combined with their -28 reading two weeks earlier, it is the only time they have ever seen two such extreme cold waves within such a short time span. Dodge City, KS fell to -20 in both the January and February events - their only colder readings on record are -26 in February 1899, and -21 in December 1989. North Platte, NE fell to -26 in January and -29 in February, while neither month has been that cold in over 100 years in North Platte. You have to go back to 1894 to find a reading that cold in January, and to 1899 to find a reading that cold in February for that location. Omaha fell to -22 and -25 in the two events, you have to go back to 1912 to find a colder reading for either month. Cheyenne, WY fell to -31 in January and -28 in February - only 1875 was colder in January, and only 1905 and 1936 were colder in February than 1883. 


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#625
wx_statman

Posted 20 January 2018 - 10:45 PM

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As an addition to the 1883 post above, Missoula hit -36 on 2-3-1883. This was the 2nd coldest temperature in Missoula's history (1870-present), behind only the -42 from January 1888. 


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#626
SilverFallsAndrew

Posted 20 January 2018 - 10:46 PM

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12. 

 

Killed PDX either way...we only managed 22 that morning. 

 

I don't know where I got the 10 from, I think because that is Silver Falls all-time March low (Different year though). Silver Falls hit 11 on the 28th and the 1st with that cold wave. Also had tons of snow, we can talk more about that in a little over a month :)


Snowfall

2018-19: 63.5"

2017-18: 30.3"

2016-17: 49.2"

2015-16: 11.75"

2014-15: 3.5"
2013-14: 11.75"
2012-13: 16.75"
2011-12: 98.5"

 

It's always sunny at Winters Hill! 

 


#627
SilverFallsAndrew

Posted 20 January 2018 - 10:52 PM

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Great stats, those 1800s cold waves were epic!
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Snowfall

2018-19: 63.5"

2017-18: 30.3"

2016-17: 49.2"

2015-16: 11.75"

2014-15: 3.5"
2013-14: 11.75"
2012-13: 16.75"
2011-12: 98.5"

 

It's always sunny at Winters Hill! 

 


#628
wx_statman

Posted 20 January 2018 - 10:56 PM

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I don't know where I got the 10 from, I think because that is Silver Falls all-time March low (Different year though). Silver Falls hit 11 on the 28th and the 1st with that cold wave. Also had tons of snow, we can talk more about that in a little over a month :)

 

Yep, in due time. Probably right after we talk about February 2011.  ;)


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#629
snow_wizard

Posted 21 January 2018 - 12:11 AM

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Jan 21 - 

 

In 1943 Clearbrook had a bone chilling high of 5 degrees.  Their records go back to 1903 and only Jan 1911 and Dec 1968 recorded a colder max than this one.  Their low on the same day was -3.

 

In general the January 1943 cold wave is one that is often overlooked in spite of being quite severe and snowy.


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Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2018-19 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 12.4"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 12

Total Hail = 0.3"

Coldest Low = 13

Lows 32 or below = 63

Highs 32 or below = 1

Lows 20 or below = 6

Highs 40 or below = 15

 

 


#630
snow_wizard

Posted 21 January 2018 - 12:23 AM

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Speaking of Jan 1911, I might have to do a write up on that one.  Epic cold and very snowy in the north interior of WA.  That one barely effected areas more south so it's never talked about.


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Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2018-19 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 12.4"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 12

Total Hail = 0.3"

Coldest Low = 13

Lows 32 or below = 63

Highs 32 or below = 1

Lows 20 or below = 6

Highs 40 or below = 15

 

 


#631
wx_statman

Posted 21 January 2018 - 10:24 AM

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Speaking of Jan 1911, I might have to do a write up on that one.  Epic cold and very snowy in the north interior of WA.  That one barely effected areas more south so it's never talked about.

 

Yeah, mid-Jan 1911 was a souped-up version of January 2012, as far as temperature gradients are concerned. Downtown Portland was pretty marginal with 32/23 on the coldest day. About 5" of snow fell, but it was spread out over 6 days. 

 

Nothing compared to the sub-zero daytime maximums in the Fraser Valley. That outflow was fueled by a ridiculous Arctic airmass to our NE, which produced the Alberta provincial record low (-78 at Fort Vermilion on 1-11-1911).


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#632
wx_statman

Posted 21 January 2018 - 12:49 PM

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1961

 

One of the more impressive mid-winter ridges parked itself over western N. America.

 

Kosmos, in the downslope zone of the western Cascades foothills, hit 70 on the 20th. Landsburg and Startup both hit 67. Out on the coast, readings hit 69 in Long Beach and 68 in both Grayland and Willapa Harbor. In Oregon, Cascadia Ranger Station hit 73 on the 21st. Silver Creek Falls hit an incredible 72 on the 20th. I believe these readings represent the earliest in the season that downslope 70's have occurred in the Cascade foothills/eastern Willamette Valley area. Annette, Alaska hit 61 on the 19th which was their monthly record until a 66 degree reading earlier this month (1-14-2018). 


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#633
wx_statman

Posted 21 January 2018 - 12:55 PM

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Since we're on the subject of death ridges in January, here's a recap post of 2009 that I made on Western:

 

http://theweatherfor...lified-pattern/

 

The January 2009 ridge was out of this world, with 590dm heights into southern BC. In January! 


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#634
SilverFallsAndrew

Posted 21 January 2018 - 01:29 PM

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Since we're on the subject of death ridges in January, here's a recap post of 2009 that I made on Western:

 

http://theweatherfor...lified-pattern/

 

The January 2009 ridge was out of this world, with 590dm heights into southern BC. In January! 

 

Pretty amazing arctic outbreak back east too!


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Snowfall

2018-19: 63.5"

2017-18: 30.3"

2016-17: 49.2"

2015-16: 11.75"

2014-15: 3.5"
2013-14: 11.75"
2012-13: 16.75"
2011-12: 98.5"

 

It's always sunny at Winters Hill! 

 


#635
wx_statman

Posted 22 January 2018 - 09:42 AM

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So, the best place to cross-check historical weather stats is currently out of service. Thanks, government!

 

 

Attached Files



#636
Scott

Posted 22 January 2018 - 10:48 AM

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I'm going to copy/past some posts I made years ago on Western. Relevant to this time period!

 

(1/3) - January 1847

 

What I do know of January 1847 paints an epic picture, along the same lines of 1854, 1862, or 1868. This was reported as a harsh winter with much suffering both in Oregon City and surrounding Willamette Valley settlements, and in Whitman Mission and surrounding areas in the Columbia Basin. 

There are also reports from present day San Francisco - at that time home to Mexican presidios as well as US military personnel involved in the Mexican American War - of very cold weather and frozen ponds, enough to allow ice skating.   

 

As mentioned before, this was also the same winter that the Donner Party was stranded in the Sierra Nevada.  


At home:

 

Coldest temperature thus far in 2018:   -26 on 2/21

 

Warmest temperature thus far in 2018:  99 on 7/8 (All time record high)

 

Precip thus far in 2018:   11.01 inches

 

Snowfall thus far in 2018:   38.7 inches

 

Last frost of early summer:  7/1

 

First frost of late summer:  8/29

 

Last snow of late spring:  5/1 

 

First snow of early fall:   10/6


#637
Scott

Posted 22 January 2018 - 11:09 AM

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Today is the anniversary of the 1937 cold snap in the West.  

 

January 1937 was the coldest month on record for many locations in the Western US.

 

Salt Lake City was -20 on 1/21/1937.   This is the second coldest January reading there (-22 on 1/25/1949).

 

Some all time record lows (some were recorded in an earlier cold snap in 1937):

 

St George Utah (the warmest part of the state hit -11 on 1/22/1937 (also 1/26/1937).   Other than January 1937, only December 1909 has produced any sub-zero reading there.

 

Myton Utah:  -39 on 1/23/1937

 

Green River Utah:  -42 on 1/22/1937.   This was an incredible reading.   No other readings have even come close.

 

Elko Nevada:  -43 on 1/23/1937

 

Carson City Nevada:  -27 on 1/21/1937

 

Price Utah also hit -29 on 1/23/1937, the second coldest reading there and the coldest reading in January.

 

Winnemucca Nevada hit -36 on 1/21/1937, the second coldest reading there.

There are a lot more of them too; these are just some random ones.

 

Some record lows in 1937 were also recorded earlier in the month:

 

Fort Duchene Utah:  -40 on 1/9/1937

 

Vernal Utah:  -37 on 1/9/1937

 

Duchene Utah:  -43 on 1/9/1937


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At home:

 

Coldest temperature thus far in 2018:   -26 on 2/21

 

Warmest temperature thus far in 2018:  99 on 7/8 (All time record high)

 

Precip thus far in 2018:   11.01 inches

 

Snowfall thus far in 2018:   38.7 inches

 

Last frost of early summer:  7/1

 

First frost of late summer:  8/29

 

Last snow of late spring:  5/1 

 

First snow of early fall:   10/6


#638
snow_wizard

Posted 22 January 2018 - 11:26 AM

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Today is the anniversary of the 1937 cold snap in the West.  

 

January 1937 was the coldest month on record for many locations in the Western US.

 

 

That was a fabulous month for the Western lowlands.  Prolonged cold and long lasting snow cover.  Whatcom County had continuous snow cover for about 2 months that winter due to persistent cold lasting through much of February as well.  Probably their most desirable winter there IMO.


Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2018-19 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 12.4"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 12

Total Hail = 0.3"

Coldest Low = 13

Lows 32 or below = 63

Highs 32 or below = 1

Lows 20 or below = 6

Highs 40 or below = 15

 

 


#639
wx_statman

Posted 22 January 2018 - 11:50 AM

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Today is the anniversary of the 1937 cold snap in the West.  

 

January 1937 was the coldest month on record for many locations in the Western US.

 

Salt Lake City was -20 on 1/21/1937.   This is the second coldest January reading there (-22 on 1/25/1949).

 

Some all time record lows (some were recorded in an earlier cold snap in 1937):

 

St George Utah (the warmest part of the state hit -11 on 1/22/1937 (also 1/26/1937).   Other than January 1937, only December 1909 has produced any sub-zero reading there.

 

Myton Utah:  -39 on 1/23/1937

 

Green River Utah:  -42 on 1/22/1937.   This was an incredible reading.   No other readings have even come close.

 

Elko Nevada:  -43 on 1/23/1937

 

Carson City Nevada:  -27 on 1/21/1937

 

Price Utah also hit -29 on 1/23/1937, the second coldest reading there and the coldest reading in January.

 

Winnemucca Nevada hit -36 on 1/21/1937, the second coldest reading there.

There are a lot more of them too; these are just some random ones.

 

Some record lows in 1937 were also recorded earlier in the month:

 

Fort Duchene Utah:  -40 on 1/9/1937

 

Vernal Utah:  -37 on 1/9/1937

 

Duchene Utah:  -43 on 1/9/1937

 

Austin, in eastern Oregon, hit -52 on 1/8/1937...and followed it up with -48 on 1/20.


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#640
SilverFallsAndrew

Posted 22 January 2018 - 12:06 PM

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I think Salem has like a 37/22 average for January 1937 one of their coldest months on record, the followed it with a 25” snow event on February 1st which is one of the largest one day snow events in the modern era along the I5 corridor.
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Snowfall

2018-19: 63.5"

2017-18: 30.3"

2016-17: 49.2"

2015-16: 11.75"

2014-15: 3.5"
2013-14: 11.75"
2012-13: 16.75"
2011-12: 98.5"

 

It's always sunny at Winters Hill! 

 


#641
BLI snowman

Posted 23 January 2018 - 12:56 AM

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Epic snowstorm and arctic event wrapped up this week in 1866.

 

In Downtown Portland, 20" of wet snow fell on the 16-17th of January as an arctic front stalled over the northern fringes of Oregon. On the 18th, 3" more fell, followed by another 9" on the 19th-20th. The 20th was the coldest day, with a low of 12 at Fort Vancouver before a gradual moderation the next few days.

 

I know all of Western WA was hard hit by this but I don't have any exact numbers. Hopefully Jim or Dmitri have something more detailed for Fort Townsend or Seattle, as Fort Steilacoom numbers are hard to come by with this event.

 

1865-66 was a terrific winter though even by 19th century standards and one of our most consistent years on record. It featured two major arctic airmasses in December with a major mid-month snowstorm. More chilly weather and snow followed around New Year's, with a very large snowstorm in Victoria early in January and persistent days in the 30s. In fact Fort Vancouver did not rise above 45 from December 10 to January 23. After the epic snow event, yet another solid arctic event hit in mid February with a low of 14 at Fort Vancouver and 11 at Fort Steilacoom on 2/14.


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#642
wx_statman

Posted 23 January 2018 - 10:02 AM

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Epic snowstorm and arctic event wrapped up this week in 1866.

 

In Downtown Portland, 20" of wet snow fell on the 16-17th of January as an arctic front stalled over the northern fringes of Oregon. On the 18th, 3" more fell, followed by another 9" on the 19th-20th. The 20th was the coldest day, with a low of 12 at Fort Vancouver before a gradual moderation the next few days.

 

I know all of Western WA was hard hit by this but I don't have any exact numbers. Hopefully Jim or Dmitri have something more detailed for Fort Townsend or Seattle, as Fort Steilacoom numbers are hard to come by with this event.

 

1865-66 was a terrific winter though even by 19th century standards and one of our most consistent years on record. It featured two major arctic airmasses in December with a major mid-month snowstorm. More chilly weather and snow followed around New Year's, with a very large snowstorm in Victoria early in January and persistent days in the 30s. In fact Fort Vancouver did not rise above 45 from December 10 to January 23. After the epic snow event, yet another solid arctic event hit in mid February with a low of 14 at Fort Vancouver and 11 at Fort Steilacoom on 2/14.

 

I checked what I have. It seems as though a number of the forts are missing data for 1865-66. This includes Fort Canby, Fort Colville, and Fort Walla Walla. Might have had something to do with admin reassignments/general bureaucratic chaos following the end of the Civil War. 

 

Fort Lapwai (Lewiston) has data for that winter. Shows a 2:00 PM reading of 3 degrees on 1/19 along with 2.33" of precip. Looks like a pretty massive snowstorm occurred east of the Cascades as well. Major arctic blast in December as well, with a -6/-15 day on 12-18-1865. The Helena signal service station began observations on Jan 1st, 1866. Between 1/15 and 1/18, 20.5" of snow fell. From the 17th-19th, 2:00 PM readings were -22, -24, and -28. Bottomed out at -34 at the 9:00 PM obs on 1/19 and then began warming. Overall, this might have been one of the greatest snowstorms in a cross-section of the PNW from the Portland area, to the Columbia Basin, to western MT. 

 

The Albany signal service station has precip data along with snowfall data, although the snowfall data is only for Dec & Jan. Shows 3.5" on 1/18 and 5" on 1/20. Also about 5" total in December. I wouldn't be surprised if this data is incomplete. Having said that, it's very possible that they were too far south during the January setup and 8.5" is all they got. Their obs show a ton of precip (values are rounded to the quarter inch for some reason, except for the 20th):

 

1/16 - 1.00"

1/17 - 1.50"

1/18 - 1.75" (3.5" snow)

1/19 - 0"

1/20 - 1.02" (5" snow)

1/21 - 1.50"

1/22 - 0.75"

1/23 - 1.50"

1/24 - 1.75"

 

If those obs are reliable, then that is a pretty epic 9 day washout in Albany. 


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#643
BLI snowman

Posted 23 January 2018 - 10:36 AM

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I checked what I have. It seems as though a number of the forts are missing data for 1865-66. This includes Fort Canby, Fort Colville, and Fort Walla Walla. Might have had something to do with admin reassignments/general bureaucratic chaos following the end of the Civil War. 

 

Fort Lapwai (Lewiston) has data for that winter. Shows a 2:00 PM reading of 3 degrees on 1/19 along with 2.33" of precip. Looks like a pretty massive snowstorm occurred east of the Cascades as well. Major arctic blast in December as well, with a -6/-15 day on 12-18-1865. The Helena signal service station began observations on Jan 1st, 1866. Between 1/15 and 1/18, 20.5" of snow fell. From the 17th-19th, 2:00 PM readings were -22, -24, and -28. Bottomed out at -34 at the 9:00 PM obs on 1/19 and then began warming. Overall, this might have been one of the greatest snowstorms in a cross-section of the PNW from the Portland area, to the Columbia Basin, to western MT. 

 

The Albany signal service station has precip data along with snowfall data, although the snowfall data is only for Dec & Jan. Shows 3.5" on 1/18 and 5" on 1/20. Also about 5" total in December. I wouldn't be surprised if this data is incomplete. Having said that, it's very possible that they were too far south during the January setup and 8.5" is all they got. Their obs show a ton of precip (values are rounded to the quarter inch for some reason, except for the 20th):

 

1/16 - 1.00"

1/17 - 1.50"

1/18 - 1.75" (3.5" snow)

1/19 - 0"

1/20 - 1.02" (5" snow)

1/21 - 1.50"

1/22 - 0.75"

1/23 - 1.50"

1/24 - 1.75"

 

If those obs are reliable, then that is a pretty epic 9 day washout in Albany. 

 

I think those Albany numbers are likely pretty accurate, as they jive with the look of the event which suggests a stalled front near Portland. The Oregonian reported that Portland saw wet snow all day on the 16th before a switch over to rain that night and then a switch back to wet snow all day on the 17th. It also reported an 8" snowfall in Salem on the 18th, which suggests the boundary was pushing south through that day.


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#644
wx_statman

Posted 23 January 2018 - 10:56 AM

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I think those Albany numbers are likely pretty accurate, as they jive with the look of the event which suggests a stalled front near Portland. The Oregonian reported that Portland saw wet snow all day on the 16th before a switch over to rain that night and then a switch back to wet snow all day on the 17th. It also reported an 8" snowfall in Salem on the 18th, which suggests the boundary was pushing south through that day.

 

Definitely a plausible scenario. I wonder how Eugene did. Would have been funny if they got nothing while Portland got 32". 


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#645
BLI snowman

Posted 23 January 2018 - 11:10 AM

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Definitely a plausible scenario. I wonder how Eugene did. Would have been funny if they got nothing while Portland got 32". 

 

I bet that was the case :lol:

 

The tables definitely turned in January 1868, though. Eugene had an 18" depth and a -15 low while Downtown Portland had "moderating" east winds and bare ground.


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#646
wx_statman

Posted 23 January 2018 - 12:54 PM

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I bet that was the case :lol:
 
The tables definitely turned in January 1868, though. Eugene had an 18" depth and a -15 low while Downtown Portland had "moderating" east winds and bare ground.


Sounds a bit like Dec 2013.

#647
SilverFallsAndrew

Posted 23 January 2018 - 01:22 PM

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Sounds a bit like Dec 2013.

 

19th Century version...


Snowfall

2018-19: 63.5"

2017-18: 30.3"

2016-17: 49.2"

2015-16: 11.75"

2014-15: 3.5"
2013-14: 11.75"
2012-13: 16.75"
2011-12: 98.5"

 

It's always sunny at Winters Hill! 

 


#648
wx_statman

Posted 23 January 2018 - 02:36 PM

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Since we're talking about January 1868, here's a copy of an old post I made about that month:

 

**************************************************************************

 

Here is the ridiculously cold January 1868 at Albany. This was one of the coldest months in PNW history, right up there with January 1862, and also featured one of the greatest cold waves on record. This month appears to have averaged between 22-25 degrees in most lowland areas of the I-5 corridor. Eugene fell to -15 during this month (on the 10th), and there was 3-4 feet of snow in Hillsboro according to one source I've seen. 

NOTE: The following max/min data is derived from 3-observation daily logs (7 am, 2 pm, 9 pm), so the real high and low temperatures are not known. There could be a significant difference between the real 24 hour max/min data and the 3-observation-derived data that is shown, so keep that in mind. But to get a general idea of where things were, this obviously does the trick!

1/01: 50/39
1/02: 56/35
1/03: 37/33
1/04: 33/25 4" snow
1/05: 33/22
1/06: 23/13
1/07: 19/10
1/08: 24/20 4" snow
1/09: 29/6
1/10: 30/-4 
1/11: 19/-6
1/12: 21/7 
1/13: 28/16
1/14: 39/26 3" snow
1/15: 28/24
1/16: 22/10
1/17: 25/4
1/18: 24/2 
1/19: 26/0 1.5" snow
1/20: 30/21 1.5" snow
1/21: 42/30
1/22: 36/22
1/23: 40/10
1/24: 30/28 missing snow data, but there was 0.75" of precip
1/25: 36/31 4.5" snow
1/26: 36/22
1/27: 32/18
1/28: 36/13
1/29: 30/8
1/30: 34/12
1/31: 32/11

-24.0 monthly average
-At least 18.5" snow, plus the one missing day that had either heavy snow or freezing rain, or both. 
-Minimum of -6 observed at 7 am on the 11th, but the real minimum may have easily been -10 or lower between the observation times. Recall that Eugene bottomed out at -15 in this event, on the 10th. 


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#649
snow_wizard

Posted 23 January 2018 - 06:22 PM

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Epic snowstorm and arctic event wrapped up this week in 1866.

 

In Downtown Portland, 20" of wet snow fell on the 16-17th of January as an arctic front stalled over the northern fringes of Oregon. On the 18th, 3" more fell, followed by another 9" on the 19th-20th. The 20th was the coldest day, with a low of 12 at Fort Vancouver before a gradual moderation the next few days.

 

I know all of Western WA was hard hit by this but I don't have any exact numbers. Hopefully Jim or Dmitri have something more detailed for Fort Townsend or Seattle, as Fort Steilacoom numbers are hard to come by with this event.

 

1865-66 was a terrific winter though even by 19th century standards and one of our most consistent years on record. It featured two major arctic airmasses in December with a major mid-month snowstorm. More chilly weather and snow followed around New Year's, with a very large snowstorm in Victoria early in January and persistent days in the 30s. In fact Fort Vancouver did not rise above 45 from December 10 to January 23. After the epic snow event, yet another solid arctic event hit in mid February with a low of 14 at Fort Vancouver and 11 at Fort Steilacoom on 2/14.

 

I know that a Seattle newspaper that was being printed at that time said there was a full foot of snow on the ground after the big snowstorm in Jan 1866.  That was a really good one and was accompanied by very cold temps.


Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2018-19 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 12.4"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 12

Total Hail = 0.3"

Coldest Low = 13

Lows 32 or below = 63

Highs 32 or below = 1

Lows 20 or below = 6

Highs 40 or below = 15

 

 


#650
wx_statman

Posted 23 January 2018 - 11:12 PM

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1-24-1960

 

A 40 day streak of sub-32 maximums came to an end at Stampede Pass, highlighting the persistent cold anomalies of this oft-forgotten, yet excellent winter in the western lowlands. This is the 2nd longest streak since records began in 1944 at Stampede Pass. The record had just been set in Jan-Feb 1957 when 42 consecutive days stayed below freezing. 

 

The last streak of even 30 days was during the 1970-71 winter, which had a 31 day streak from December into the first part of January. Just one more nugget to highlight the abilities of our cold-phase climate during the 1950's and 1960's.